These racehorses were ‘meant to disappear’

Last week, nine racehorses shipped straight to kill were rescued in a covert action. Seven are Thoroughbreds, two are Quarter Horses. Kill buyers refused to allow the release of the horse's names.

Last week, nine racehorses shipped straight to kill were rescued in a covert action. Seven are Thoroughbreds, two are Quarter Horses. Kill buyers refused to allow the release of the horse’s names.

Nine young racehorses who were reportedly “meant to disappear” in an anonymous haul of discarded Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses were saved from death in a Mexican slaughterhouse last week by a covert rescue effort that crisscrossed the U.S. and Canada.

Racing against the clock while handling delicate negotiations with kill-buyers who insisted there would be no deal if horse Jockey Club names were released to the public, rescuers managed to quietly raise $10,000 in two days to save seven young Thoroughbreds and two Quarter Horses whose identities may never be made public.

According to Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds in Ontario, “The Thoroughbreds had all recently raced at the same racetrack, but for different owners. And I’m not sure where the Quarter Horses had been. The kill buyer didn’t know whether he wanted to take the risk of dealing with us because he didn’t want the trainers he works with to be identified.”

Lovell has rescued hundreds of horses over the years, including race mare Press Exclusive, who nearly died en route to slaughter. (Please see that story here).

Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds in Ontario helped raise $10,000 to rescue slaughter-bound racehorses. Pictured on her farm with her own horse.

Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds in Ontario helped raise $10,000 to rescue slaughter-bound racehorses. Pictured on her farm with her own horse.

Agreeing to the kill-buyer’s terms to keep the names of the tattooed Thoroughbreds secret, Lovell and a team of Thoroughbred rescue workers and advocates raised thousands of dollars last week, securing the freedom, a quarantine facility, transportation and a retirement farm for the herd, she says.

“We were extremely careful. We knew if someone said something, and it exposed the trainers, it would be the end of it” and the horses would die, Lovell says. “So we worked privately and were able to raise the funds and wire them five minutes before the noon deadline we were given.”

Joining Lovell in the all-out race to save the young, injured horses were the following:

• Wendy Thomson of Connecticut, a dog rescuer who initially learned of the horses’ plight and tipped off Lovell and raised funds;
• Gail Hirt of Beyond the Roses, who raised funds;
• Vicki Morgan, a Thoroughbred advocate of Texas, organized transport and quarantine, and donated veterinarian work;
• Marlene Murray of R.A.C.E. Fund helped toward hauling expenses;
• Racehorse owner and advocate John Murrell, who donated funds;
• Racehorse owner and advocate Maggi Moss, who donated funds.
•Lucie Berreby-Greenbaum , Director of The Greenbaum Foundation, who stepped up to cover full expenses for the surprise 9th horse.

Though the effort was a success, there’s little joy in it, Lovell says. “This isn’t something that necessarily sits right with us, when horses are coming from no-kill racetracks and going straight to slaughter.” It is a battle and not the war that was won this time.

Gail Hirt, pictured on her Michigan property, was instrumental in raising $10,000 to save 9 slaughter-bound racehorses.

Gail Hirt, pictured on her Michigan property, was instrumental in raising $10,000 to save 9 slaughter-bound racehorses.

And Vicki Morgan, a Texas-based Thoroughbred advocate, and a director of Remember Me Rescue in Texas, acted as an individual, and not under the tenants of her directorship, to help find quarantine shelter, and donated veterinary care for the animals she describes as being “in very bad shape.”

Of the nine, only two appear sound. Some have severe injuries and one of the Quarter Horses is foundering. All appeared malnourished and dehydrated.

“When those horses came off the van they went straight to the water trough and drank and drank and drank. And after that, they put their heads in the hay and never lifted them,” Morgan says. “We want to give them their dignity back. When a horse goes to a kill pen, I believe they know where they are, and that they knew they were in a bad place.”

Working behind the scenes to notify past owners and breeders, one such breeder has stepped forward to take back a Thoroughbred with a severely bowed tendon. “Our vet said it was the biggest bow she’s ever seen on a horse. However, this horse will get to live out his life in the pasture he was born in,” Morgan says.

Like Lovell, Morgan has never worked on a rescue with such strict conditions. She still can’t believe it worked out.

“We were told we couldn’t mention the names, because people will search out the trainer and make a big stink,” she says. “And then the racetracks will come down on the trainers. When I first heard the circumstances and the rules we had to operate under I thought there’s no way we can do this. It’s a horse’s backstory that inspires people to donate.

“To me what’s so incredible about all of this is that we had to raise $10,000 in two days. The kill-buyer said we either had to take them all, or they all go to kill.”

Though their names may not be known, the Thoroughbreds shipped straight to kill did not disappear. And Lovell and Morgan agree: this rescue job will be one they will never forget.

82 responses to “These racehorses were ‘meant to disappear’”

  1. Delrene from Carlsbad, Ca

    Thank you to all who helped. I have just now read about this rescue. Unbelievable in its terms, but I can see it really was worth it to save these 9. They will never forget. I hope they recover and can be rehomed, retrained or become great pasture pals. I do not have much in the way of donation money to spread around, but if I can send some money to one and mention its for the 9 you all saved. Thank you again. What an incredibly important rescue.

  2. Amy Lehrer

    Thank you for all you efforts. They mean the world to these horses

  3. Carla

    At lot of tracks now have a ban on owner/trainers who send horses to slaughter. If caught they can never race there again. The American Quarter Horse has the highest slaughter rate. Followed by the Thoroughbred. There is a farmer in Enumclaw Washington that breeds horses for consumption. He sends them to France and Japan.

    1. Carolyn McDonald

      Those bans aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Racehorses exit tracks on trucks into the slaughterhouse pipeline every single day.

      The racing authorities are fully aware and support this policy because it’s the industry’s solution for getting rid of its “much loved” prized assets when no longer performing as a result of injuries and/or mistreatment.

      As a public relations stunt, only very occasionally will the industry “punish” a trainer when found to have sent horses to slaughter. Trainer simply moves on to another track and carries on business as usual.

      The shamefully SICK horseracing industry has blood on its hands every single day.

    2. lexi63

      these “rules” are NOT upheld & the trainers /owners are protected by the tracks , otherwise they would have no one racing because they ALL send their broke down / damaged horses to slaughter , so dont believe a word of anything coming from the “inside” , they dont even get a slap on the wrist for sending horses to the kill pens.

  4. lexi63

    thank you so much for bringing much needed attention to this subject of rehomng thoroughbreds who are in such need of our help both on & after the track. You are providing great stories for us to share on their behalf. So many people are so misinformed about this issue. The information of course that comes from within the industry is terribly scewed & novice ‘horse people’ are the ones who give some of the worst information on the subject, ( a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, for the horses), making the situation seem not so bad when it is actually dire. I love your stories & I share them everywhere in hopes to help save more of these beauties, After they gave valiant efforts to their horse dumping trainers & owners most ( the overwhelming majority of thoroghbreds ) are rewarded with a horrifying trip to a slaughter house. A retrained thoroughbred can do ANYTHING, they are the most versatile creatures on the planet & there are so many that need saving, The numbers of them that cross the borders is staggering Breakdown: Death & Disarray at America’s Racetracks – Racing for their Lives: An In-Depth Look at Doping in the U.S. Horse Racing Industry

  5. Callie Dawn Brown

    I am so thankful for the people involved int his rescue and many , many more like it. I just have one question. do these owners even stop to think of the people out there that would jump at the chance to rehome one of the amazing horses?

  6. Natasha

    The trainers n tracks need to be named n shamed to prevent this. Yes they may go silent about it for awhile but w enough public support n voice they will eventually have to toe the line.

  7. Shelly Van Ness

    Firstly, and most importantly, thank you Maggi Moss, Mindy Lovell, Wendy Thomson, Gail Hirt, Vicki Morgan, Marlene Murray, John Murrell, and Lucie Berreby-Greenbaum for stepping up to save these, as well as countless other, horses. Your efforts are appreciated and should be applauded…what blessings you are to our industry. While I understand the difficulty in deciding whether or not to release the names of the connections to the horses rescued, I’m struggling with the decision to release the names of the connections to only four of the nine horses rescued. Realizing that a “tattoo search” can be a bit tricky as tattoos sometimes fade or become difficult to read, I’m wondering if perhaps the other five horses have yet to be identified?

  8. Zig Pope

    This is the degree to which the maggot underbelly of racing will go to to make a quick buck off the very reason they even have a job at all. The filth needs to go, or stick a fork in racing.

  9. AJ

    These rescue groups are a KB’S dream.
    Look at the profit that KB just made off of these people.
    The water is still running.
    The only way to remotely slow this down is to identify and get the bad guys fined and kicked off of tracks.
    Sorry, but you just saved horses at the expense of many others.

    1. Carolyn McDonald

      AJ – i totally agree with you!

  10. Kathryn Webers

    Glad to see the commitment here for this session’s legislation banning horse slaughter for human consumption!
    Please keep one thing in mind when you refer to/talk about the current federal bills: The SAFE Act is also the name for other current bills, and any confusion/error when you contact your two US Senators and one US Representative on behalf of this bill can not be undone. That also applies when you contact friends/family to encourage them to contact their representative and two senators.

    The legislation’s name is a non-specific, non-equine-related name for the current legislation, and that could hurt its chances. PLEASE USE THE BILL NUMBERS below when you contact your three members so your request is clear.

    US House bill:
    US Senate bill:

    Use the available info as you can: N.American horsemeat is toxic:

    I understand that there is no intent in the foreseeable future that US horses will be raised, and/or managed as an animal for human consumption. Why did it take all these years to recognize the hazards of their meat …. and why have we shipped some 150K US horses to slaughter annually? Shame on the US.

    (1) Find your state here:
    (2) Find your two US senators and one US Representative …. then bring your friends & family to contact their Washington DC members in support of S.1214 and HR.1942.

    Massachusetts Against Horse Slaughter

    1. Dory Munder

      Kathryn, thx so much for the legislative info. I will also see if I can find a New York advocacy group. We do all just have to keep on keeping on.

  11. sunbake

    Congrats! They have now bowed down to the desires of the KBs. By agreeing to withhold identities of these horses they make it a condition going forward that any other OTTB remains anonymous. Hardly a victory. They won a battle at great cost to our ability to ‘out’ the trainers and tracks that allow this to happen. What they should have done is shout it from the mountaintops and then DARED any KB to think about loading those horses on a truck to slaughter. The Mosses and Run for the Roses, and CANTER and every other OTTB rescuer out there would have complicated their ability to move these OTTBs onto the trucks ‘anonymously’. Not only that, they have now upped the cost of saving an OTTB to about $1000 a horse. While I have joy knowing these horses were saved I am so sad at the cost they have potentially extracted for any future rescues.

    1. lexi63

      totally agree sunbake

    2. Carolyn McDonald

      Sunbake – i totally agree with you!

  12. Linda Stoeckmann Hansen

    For any bow.. please find a class IV laser.. it will work!

  13. Carolyn McDonald

    It is incomprehensible that the horseracing industry refuses to microchip its “much loved” athletes.

    Obviously this indicates that the racing industry does not want to protect its “prized assets”. Nor does it want these horses to be traceable. This speaks for itself.

    And why shouldn’t there be a big stink?
    And why shouldn’t the racetracks come down on the trainers?
    Of the nine horses only two were found to be sound – how sick is this?
    One only has to look at the photos to see their ribs sticking out and the last horse, a chestnut, looks particularly bad.

    And as we know this group of rescued horses is just a drop in the ocean, sadly.

    1. jrstark

      They are traceable, by their tattoos. The slaughterhouses only scan for chips afterwards, so how does that help? The tracks will come down on those trainers, that is why the KBs are protecting them.

      1. Carolyn McDonald

        My understanding is that tattoos do not always properly identify a racehorse. Therefore these horses that have been saved, if they had’ve been microchipped, they could’ve been immediately identified and that was my point.
        It is also important for veterinary treatment. A ring-in pre race? Horses in the breeding barn? It is my understanding that the tattoos are not done until just before the horse starts racing. Where I am, foals are microchipped at about 4 months and the vet takes DNA from the foal so there is no query as to the identity of the foal. It only takes a couple of seconds to scan a microchipped horse and if racehorses in America do not have to be microchipped then the horses are not being protected in more ways than one.

        1. jrstark

          There is a horse identifier in the paddock, they check tattoos against their clipboard as they come in. Registration requires DNA testing as well. The rescuers know who the horses are, that is how the one breeder got involved. They just can’t publicize the names.

          You can tell if a tattoo has been modified, you can’t tell necessarily tell if a chip was replaced, especially if it has shifted.

          1. Carolyn McDonald

            I’m aware of pre race horse identifiers checking tattoos and it is my belief that there’s a risk of error (errors have been made). If it was done with a microchip scanner, there’s no risk of error in my view. Microchipping is far superior and a much better procedure for the horse.

          2. pchorsedoc

            Veterinarians are constantly trying to eliminate this myth about microchips “shifting” or migrating. IF properly placed this doesn’t happen.
            Lip tattoos easily fade but if legible will identify all of the horses connections. Because lip tattoos fade with time and are sometimes not properly done, we need alternate ways of ID. To imply that a lip tattoo is altered on purpose is ridiculous. This just isn’t done because of the above reason.

            Heartily agree with the need to OUT all of the rescued horses connections now. They need to be sanctioned.

            Not happy at the amount of profit given to this kill buyer.

          3. lexi63

            TOUCHE’ , as usual, this ‘tattoo” BS is all a SCAM once again to protect the rich & slaughter the helpless with no consequences . all slaughter bound horses should be IDENTIFIED and owners AND trainers involved should be OUTED & lose their racing licenses’s 4 -ever , for MURDER of their paychecks until they become to crippled from the drugs and abuse of their bodies & they can no longer write them any longer they are dumped like yesterday’s garbage – ITS ALL SO SICKENING & PERVERTED.

  14. Lupine Shyam

    of course it happens all the time! come on people! how many thousands of TB’s are (over) bred every single year? the commodity of the TB racing industry happens to be TB horses. Stop the racing, stop the industry, stop the breeding, then the slaughter might stop. horse racing is yet another disgusting industry. track policies? oh sure, writing on a piece of paper makes a policy. sure. STOP horse racing. Stop trophy hunting. stop snorting rhino horn. stop ivory trade. stop Corruption and narcissism. stop THIS type of world, I want to get off.

    1. jrstark

      This year, there will be @22,000 Thoroughbreds born in the US. There will be @100,000 Quarter Horses, and @200,000 grade (no breed) horses. Take a look at the list to the right, those are just some of the Thoroughbred rescue/retirement/rehoming groups. About 80 percent of the horses going to slaughter are QH or QH-type.

      1. Lee

        Thank you! Racing always gets blamed for overbreeding but the AQHA openly supports slaughter and far more Quarter Horses are foaled and sold to kill buyers.STOP backyard breeding and stop breeding genetically unsound Quarter Horses and stop crippling them with unnatural gaits and you’ll save far more from slaughter than if Racing was stopped.

  15. C Hunter

    These are the facts of what is happening all across the country. This is the information needed to be sent to the elected officials! The countries that import our slaughtered horses and those consumers that eat such meat. It seems the consumers in these countries have no idea just how tainted imported horsemeat is. Those 14 heading to slaughter Need to be stopped at the border and all horses impounded to see if the paper work is legitimate.

  16. Terri Paxton

    Well, they said they couldn’t give names. But if the pictures are up, all it takes is the right person to recognize them. And with no name given by the rescuers they can still figure out who the horse is, who owned it and who trained it!

  17. Shirley Artwohl

    Look, those trainers should get in trouble, it’s against the law for a trainer you knowingly send a horse to slaughter. They’re need their license taken away. I worked and trained on the backside for 40 years, most of the trainers are good people and the ones who did this are not, they need to be stopped.

  18. JoJo Zumwalt

    I’m glad someone was there to save these horses. This is the WORST kind of extortion. Off the backs of the weak and lame and tantamount to stealing from the mouths of children; because someone surely gave money that they really couldn’t afford to help save these poor horses. These are SCUM and should not be allowed to get away with this. Curses on them all.

  19. Darlene

    The SAFE Act does need to pass. Kill buyers are extorting money from rescues and individuals when they offer the horses they have purchased to be repurchased at a much higher rate. They save money when they do not have to ship also. The lack of a law making transport of US horses to slaughter in foreign countries is making KB rich and Feed lots are getting in on this too. This needs to stop. The cover up that we all as rescuers have to participate in for the sake of the horses is standing in the way of root cause prevention and allowing these corrupt trainers and their KB partners to continue this practice. I am beyond frustrated.

  20. Coya

    I’m just so glad that these horses were saved from slaughter those people don’t understand the love between a horse and rider at all if they send them to a slaughter house

  21. Erika

    Ten less horses to slaughter…thank you

    1. HorseLuv73

      Unfortunately, another ten horses took their place and the kill buyer has more money to buy more. 🙁

  22. Delrene from Carlsbad, Ca

    What a rescue and what a horrible fate these gorgeous babies would have been subjected to. I am shaking with anger that this can and does happen – apparently with little or no consequences. Thank you to all the saviours and folks that got the cash together. Mindy is just an angel in Canada. Im sure all of these groups and folks need some money and I would gladly donate some. It’s like a Sophie’ s Choice. I do know that some struggle more than others and rely solely on volunteer donation funds. Despicable behavior on the part of owners/trainers who do not help or assist in rehoming the beautiful animal they brought into this world. Susan – Thank you for posting this article today.

  23. Wendy Thomson Flamand

    Susan Salk, thank you for writing this story! Even though I was involved from the ground up, your writing gave me goose bumps all over again. I would like to add one name to the list of those who was integral in making this rescue effort possible. It was on the final morning that we found out there was a 9th horse, and we had no idea where we would raise the extra $1200. Enter Lucie Berreby-Greenbaum , Director of The Greenbaum Foundation who stepped up to cover full expenses for the last horse without whom known of this would be possible.
    Those 48 hours had so many hurdles – with the information coming from feedlot rescuers, we first had to assemble a team of first class TB rescuers who could also be discreet – well we sure found them; next tackling the fundraising which seemed like climbing Mt Everest – most of the first day we spun our wheels because we were not allowed to post publicly, and the money just wasn’t available from generous donors in the TB world. Fortunately late the first evening we got a FB post cleared with no location specifics, we cropped the horses faces so much that they were blurred. The feedlot and TB rescue community stepped up in droves with donations, never doubting the intentions, but that only got us halfway there. As we began to feel hopeless TB heavy hitters began to come through. It truly was a miracle for our Hail Mary 9. Finally there was the actual logistics of who could take them and give them their lives back. Even when we began to celebrate it appeared too soon, as the kill buyers had a last minute near change of heart at the Kill Pen. I will forever hear the words ‘they know we have the money, but they are meeting to decide if they will still ship or let us have them.” Followed by “fine they are yours if you can pay in the next five minutes.” About ten of us orchestrating logistics in a chat room and I can guarantee not a single one exhaled till we heard they’ve got our money. Gail Hirt was the coolest cucumber ever in handling that aspect. And so I say of the rescuers involved, it was inspirational to watch them work, to problem solve, to hope on a wing and a prayer for nine horses that no one had even met.

    1. Nina Ledkovsky

      What you did is heroic to say the least. Thank God for people like you and those who participated in this effort.

      What these kill buyers did was nothing short of extortion and bribery (by not allowing you to get Jockey Club names & info out), which, as we all know is a crime. They strong armed you by playing on your emotions and love for these horses into follwing their terms to protect unscrupulous trainers/owners & protect their future dealings with them.

      This type of criminal behavior NEEDS to be investigated and prosecuted.

      Hopefully the SAFE Act will pass and that will be a start.

      Don’t get me wrong, I applaud your efforts & success in this crazy situation! I am grateful these horses have been rescued! I would have done the same.

      Sadly, they will only get more brazen & demanding knowing they can keep the flow of horses they acquire running and knoeing there are tjise of us who will do whatever we can to save them.

      This is why passing the SAFE Act matters so much so long as it is strongly enforced. And by that I mean hard time for offenders. No slsps on ghe wrist or pawltry fines. Serious federal prison time is what is needed.

      God Bless you for your continuing efforts to save our precious & magnificent TBs.

      I will keep calling my Senators and Reps., demanding this legislation be passed and spreading the word…

  24. Arleen Rooney

    Sometimes we have to dance with the devil to save an animal. I’m so glad this came off. Hopefully somehow, someway the lousy trainers that sent these horses to kill buyers straight off the track after injury due to racing and no money coming in, will be flushed out.

  25. Mary Adams

    The people who worked on this pulled off a miracle to give these horses even a fighting chance. The less than meaningful penalties (for instance, trainers having their stalls taken away but housing their horses elsewhere and allowed to continue racng,) make it an upalatable choice to sacrifice the horses for what amounts to a slap on the wrist The thoroughbred industry is one of the few that has the financial means via a small fee on each bet placed on a thoroughbred (or racing QH,) to make a significant contribution towards establishing sanctuaries and rehoming projects for their horses. Control the overbreeding. Kick the owners who stop paying feed bills when these babies (and I do mean babies) don’t win, and the trainers who call the killers instead of offering these horses to rescues or private homes (or humanely euthanizing them if necessary) out of your industry on the first offense. They aren’t horsemen and shouldn’t be allowed near an animal as majestic as the Thoroughbred. Start taking back your industry. Be worthy of owning one of these magnificent creatures. #Yes2Safe

    1. Mary Adams

      and I’d like to also say that to those of you in this industry who are working so hard to make this happen, thank you, and please keep up the good work.

  26. Robin Coblyn

    One way that the “No-Slaughter” tracks can track these horses is to follow up on the DNF horses offering help to the trainers/owners in connecting them with organizations that can re-hab or re-home and allow networking with rescue groups allowing them on the backside and alerting the organizations to horses that may be in danger of shipping out. Also they can offer “surrender” stalls to the trainers on the backside that are taken care of by track employees (a good suggestion is the spit barn that is rarely full and is always being seen to as far as mucking and bedding anyway), these stalls can again be monitored by a rescue or re-homing organization for re-homing of those surrendered. Turning a blind eye is not the answer for these tracks. Any monies collected in entry fees could go to management of surrender stalls and to support the identified organization with board and vet bills for the horses they take in.

  27. Paula Hill

    All owners should take full responsibility of the animals they mass breed,and if they survive the racing regime they should find them a home not discard them like trash.

  28. l mel

    Though I’m glad this rescue was pulled off, I’m in agreement with many here that the track and trainers need to be revealed to prevent further such incidents. It doesn’t need to be posted on Facebook, but the track should be given the trainers names for sure!
    Thanks to all who helped save these horses.

  29. Gail Vacca

    The names of the horses and the owners/trainers MUSTbe publicly disclosed. Without public backlash every horse that remains in the possession of these people will remain at risk of being slaughtered.

  30. HorseLuv73

    I am torn on this one. I can understand why it was done this way as they wanted to save the horses. But the kill buyer made a “killing” financially on these ten and ten others took their place on the slaughter truck. And there were no consequences for the person/s responsible for sending them to the kill buyer in the first place.

    Unfortunately, the penalties for the racing connections are not severe enough. There was a recent situation where a trainer at a track with a no slaughter policy sent horses direct to slaughter. The trainer lost his stalls at the track but could still ship in and race. How is that punishment?

    If the track in question has an aftercare program, there is no excuse for this happening but many programs are at capacity and/or underfunded. Unfortunately, there are not enough funds, people and facilities to handle all the Thoroughbreds in need of safe retirement from racing. $25 from every Jockey Club fee goes to aftercare. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredits aftercare facilities and provides partial financial support. But more needs to be done.

    Yes, the SAFE Act needs to be passed. There also needs to be a national governing body for racing as well. The penalties for these actions must be tougher, too, and hurt the trainer where it counts – the wallet.

  31. MsMoose

    Most racetracks now have anti slaughter policies, and many in the industry are working hard to keep these horses safe …………BUT if people are not disclosing names, they’re taking the teeth out of the tracks’ efforts. There needs to be transparency. Let’s have those names! …and the horses’ names, too: often someone will recognize a horse he’s known in the past and step forward.

  32. Marie

    Let’s hope that the jockey club or the registry: 1-limit the overbreeding. 2-do not back or start these young horses when they are less than 2 yr olds, they are still growing til they’re 4-5 yrs old. Let’s at least have the Kentucky derby etc -entries be 4-5 yr olds and not 3 yr olds. This is why these young horses are breaking down, they’re babies! Heaven forbid the trainers or owners keep and allow them to heal so they can race again. Or allow them to play in the pastures until they are 3, then start them.

  33. Maureen Hayden

    get the trainers names out – do not protect them,
    lets protect the horses instead

  34. Teresa

    What I don’t understand, is why are they letting these trainers get away with what they’re doing without reporting them? They’re just going to continue sending horses straight to slaughter if they’re not reprimanded. It’s illegal for the trainers to do this, so why would these people agree to not make the horses’ names public?

    1. Carolyn McDonald

      Teresa, officially it is illegal but behind the scenes it is condoned by the racing industry. If they declare anti-slaughter, then this begs the question: Where are all the horses going to? There is some underground slaughter. They let trainers get away with it because they need trainers/horses to keep the show going. A high percentage of finished with racehorses are not suitable as an equestrian/pleasure horse because they’ve been so badly damaged by racing in more ways than one.

      1. Cindy

        I’m hoping the documentary Kill Pen will blow up the slaughter industry like Blackfish blew up Seaworld. Get the general masses up-to-date on what is going on behind the scenes, let the excrement hit the fan & watch how quickly things get cleaned up. We can hope, anyway.

  35. lexi63

    yay , a few more saved while thousands more cross the borders ,both the owners & trainers should be outted for this , i disagree with keeping the silence , they should be punished by losing their racing licenses

    1. Nina Ledkovsky

      It is imperative the SAFE Act be passed and then more imperative it be STRICTLY enforced.

      I am always happy when horses are rescued but it is bittersweet knowing how many don’t make it.

      There has to be an answer.

      Fines, license loss, arrests and imprisonment (if SAFE Act is passed).

      Call your Reps & Senators to denand they support it! I have. It does not take long.

  36. Barb Devers

    One trainer from the Fingerlakes sent a filly to a slaughter auction with a slab fracture through a third party who didn’t know about the injury. It only cost (at that time) about $100 to euthanize them there. The rescue I gave her to opted to put her down after X Rays. I still have her racing plates. The result of the rescue making a fuss? They banned the third party guy from the track for awhile! She was beautiful and kind.

  37. Gaye Goodwin

    How is this supposed to stop, if the perpetrators get away with it all the time? Their racing licenses should be revoked for eternity! I understand saving them was the goal, but I am so angry at the industry, always sweeping the dirt under the rug, so it won’t be seen. Time to clean house!!!

  38. nancy atkinson

    Thank you all for doing such a wonderful thing. We can’t save them all but you do a great job for those you can save. I am in Gray, Georgia and I have several OTTB rescues. If you need a place for a few to recover or a stop over place or anything else I can do, please contact me at natkinson6703702 I spend all my money on the horses but I can offer a good home and good care. I work a lot with injured and recovering horses that need 24-7 care.

  39. Decker warner

    God bless you for what you did!

  40. shawncline

    Think of all the banned drugs, like Bute (Phenylbutazone) they have had. If they have had it even ONCE, they are SUPPOSED to be banned from the food chain. Think the killbuyers admit it if they know?

    1. Noémi

      omg, you are concerned about the foodchain????!!!! the life of these innocent enslaved – like all other domesticated animals are – horses is all that matters, not your damned foodchain!! I couldn’t care less about it!

      1. sarahrbuck

        Noemi, concern for the foodchain is what concerns most of those who are pro-slaughter. Concern for the foodchain IS where it begins.

      2. Nancy Kurinec

        the food chain is WHY these horses were sent to slaughter .. they were supposed to be slaughtered for HUMAN consumption in foreign countries .. American horses are not raised as a food animal and are given all kinds of drugs and medications that are not allowed to be given to cattle, sheep. pigs or chickens .. every product on the market for horses, from pain killers to fly spray, all state on the label “not for use in horses intended for human consumption” race horses especially are walking pharmacies.

      3. Carolyn McDonald

        There’s no escaping the fact that in order for horseracing to operate its antiquated business model, it sends its vast majority of “much loved” horses when finished with to the slaughterhouse where these innocent horses suffer an inexcusable betrayal – a horrific INHUMANE death.

        In my view, this IS what it’s about.

  41. shawnclineShawn Cline

    Please call your Congressman and Senators to pass the SAFE Act (would make it illegal to transport U.S. horses across the border to Canada and Mexico to slaughter). I call weekly. If your reps already co-sponsor it, please write and thank them.

  42. Horse Lover

    Hiding the tattos and names of the horses just encourage for this to keep happening you guys did great bringing this horses home now lets bring the people doing this to justice

  43. B

    If there is an anti-slaughter policy in place at a racetrack, and someone violates the policy, then they should pay the price. The owners of these seven thoroughbreds will continue to race horses and throw away the ones that have no value again. Not every owner or trainer is irresponsible but those that are need to pay the price for their negligence and callous disregard for life. No life is meaningless, and I certainly don’t want to see horses go to slaughter, but because these seven were saved how many more, over the years will die because the names of the people who sent these horses to slaughter are going to remain a secret? It’s a double edge sword in many respects, and if a track has an anti-slaughter policy then they need to enforce it.This kill buyer made out. He knew as soon as someone expressed interest in these horses that he could set a high price and make a boat load of money in a short period of time because of the emotion involved. He put nine other horses on the truck that day and still shipped a full load to slaughter. Ho is that right? There is no good answer to this problem other than to badger our representatives t pass the SAFE ACT.

    How many of you who read this have called your senator or state representative just once asking him or her to support the SAFE ACT and why? If I were to take a poll, and would get honest answers, I would be surprised if the number is over 50%. People need to speak up about this to the right people. If you encourage your voice in the house and senate to pass the SAFE ACT, that is one step toward ending the slaughter of ALL horses in America. Enabling kill buyers isn’t going to solve the problem.

  44. Becky Dailey Castellano

    Karma will get these bastards. I hope when their time comes to retire they are treated the same way.

  45. karen

    I thank you for all you do. It is still so shocking that the trainers can just dismiss these animals like garbage when all these animals do is what they are told.

  46. cheri

    I am shaking with anger at the fact that this happens at all and with the frequency it occurs. I agree with everyone’s comments. I feel ill that the horses lives were the pawn to keep the public ignorant of the greasy devils who commit these atrocities. How I wish I knew who put these precious lives at grave risk…

  47. Nina Ledkovsky

    Further proof that there are good people in this world and further proof that there are evil people in this world.

    This must stop. Trainers & owners who send horses to slaughter do not deserve to be in the sport or be permitted to be anywhere near a horse.

  48. Gayle Pruitt

    Someone needs to anonymously tip off the tracks to these trainers. They need to be “disposed” of. If they can’t get it done, the tracks need to be shut down. It’s a horrible black eye on all the good people in racing and it needs to come to an end once and for all. Many thanks to all involved who helped save these guys.

  49. Sarah

    I feel very naive, but I had no idea that this ever happened. The worst part is that now that my eyes are opened to it, I can see how it probably goes on ALL the time at tracks all over the country. In fact, in reading your comment above, Susan, I don’t even want to imagine how often this occurs. Sickening. My heart hurts for all the horses that have to go through this. Thank God for these people who worked so hard to give these horses another chance at life. What penalty would a trainer face if it was discovered that he/she had sold horses to a kill buyer at a no kill track?

  50. Sue Powers

    The racetracks need to charge more fees to the public and then in return use those fees to monitor every single race horse that comes on their property and fine those trainers and owners who break the rules. Fees will not stop the public from gambling but instead of the racetracks lining their pockets, something needs to be done to protect those horses that provide those racetrack owners with their extravagant lifestyle. Just disgusting that the wealthy families in the equine industry do not do something about this. They have galas and fundraisers for cancer and all other types of charity but not for the equines that make it possible for them to live their extravagant lifestyle. At some point they will have to answer to a higher power but until then may the small rescues keep up the good fight.

  51. sybil miller

    This happens ALL THE TIME. Horses are dropped off at auctions like New Holland and many smaller ones around the country, straight to kill, with no chance for anyone to even see them or try to rescue them, all to cover up and protect trainers who are violating track policies, or at the least, to prevent the negative PR fallout when the public learns what happens. TBs make a relatively small percentage of horses sent to slaughter (likely about 20% by most estimates). But in many ways, they are the most at risk. This KB at least made it possible for rescues to step in; most do not. If the trainer’s names are disclosed, 100% of them will ship straight to kill. The answer is not to expose the names, the answer is to get the tracks to have fully trackable and accountable systems in place so all horses that come in and go out are tracked and there is follow up. And penalties for those that violate track policies, which at this point are meaningless, little more than window dressing for the public. Even that is not a real solution, we need the SAFE Act to pass. As it is, the good people who are in racing, like Murrell and Moss, and those of us on the outside can only scramble to save the few that we can. That is just not good enough; in fact it is a nightmare.

    1. B

      Sybil your numbers are low. The percentage of Thoroughbreds vs all breeds slaughtered is closer to 50%

      1. jrstark

        There aren’t enough Thoroughbreds for it to be 50 percent, or even 20 percent. There are @150,000 horses per year slaughtered. For 2015, The Jockey Club is estimating only 22,000 foals. So for it to be 50 percent, ALL Thoroughbreds born over three years would have to be slaughtered in one year. Even at 20 percent, you are counting more to slaughter than are born each year.

  52. Anne

    This has to stop. Makes me sick to my stomach. Same groups work constantly to help these poor defenseless animals. Maggi Moss is one of the only Breeders to help. There are some very big farms in KY that won’t lift a finger to help. Yet, certainly led them in the winners circle before injuries took them to the claiming ranks. Just sad and depressing. One false move in this rescue and it would have been over.

  53. Melanie

    I hope eventually these “Trainers names” are disclosed. Otherwise they will hold “Hostage” the rescue efforts of anymore people involved in saving these magnificent creatures. Those involved (by hiding their names) are probably laughing their collective asses off. Obviously they have no conscience or they wouldn’t be involved in what they are doing at these supposedly “no kill” race tracks. Kudos to those involved and I hope justice is done for your cause someday! Karma baby…it bites hard when it comes around!

Leave a Reply